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  • Writer's picturePodcast Librarian

Over the Road: Everything you always wondered about truckers

The Premise (from Apple Podcasts):

Over the Road is an eight-part series that gives voice to the trials and triumphs of America’s long haul truckers. Host “Long Haul Paul” Marhoefer, a musician, storyteller and trucker for nearly 40 years, takes you behind the wheel to explore a devoted community and a world that’s changing amidst new technologies and regulations. Over the Road is a podcast from Overdrive Magazine and PRX’s Radiotopia.⁣

Series or standalone:

Standalone, but you should listen to all the episodes

Begin listening to:

The Biggest Tailgate in Trucking


Storytelling/audio diary/interview


Musician/storyteller/trucker “Long Haul Paul” Marhoefer

Sound/production quality:

Very good

Rating/age suitability:

Teen/adult. A couple episodes are labeled Explicit, but I think those just had some language.

Approximate length of episodes:

45 minutes

Curricular ties:

Probably none, but you might recommend this to students who like good stories.

Similar recommended pods:

Learn about another misunderstood population in Radiotopia's hit show, Ear Hustle

Podcast Librarian’s Review:

Back in February, when all the podcast newsletters in my inbox were singing the praises of a new show from Radiotopia about truck drivers, I was skeptical but subscribed figuring I’d check it out at some point. Once I listened to the first episode, I was hooked. This pod is about truck drivers, but that’s just the beginning. Hosted by Long Haul Paul, a long-time trucker and musician, this is like This American Life: Trucking Edition. Paul’s melodious voice turns each episode into a masterpiece of storytelling which is, okay, a little overdramatic and schmaltzy at times—but hey, I’m a theater kid at heart, so I’m not afraid of some melodrama. Coincidentally, the show premiered shortly before the pandemic; later episodes share the experiences of drivers who were essentially helping to keep the country running by delivering items that we were all scrambling to find in stores. One of the first episodes details the hierarchy/stereotypes of different types of truckers, and other episodes explore the changes that have happened in trucking over the years (for better or worse). One of my favorite episodes is about the Punjabi-American community of truckers and how they made a huge impact on the industry. I’ve found all the episodes to be fascinating and an easy listen. Also included in the feed are mini episodes entitled Channel One-Nine, which are shorter and answer some more basic questions about trucking. Give it a shot if you like Radiotopia shows or have ever wondered about trucking life, and hang in there if the first episode doesn’t draw you in. It’s a slower burn, but it’s a good one!

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